To ring in the New Year, OCCP staff would like to thank our Partners, Funders, and members of the community for their support in 2020.  In this month's eNews, we would like to provide a few of our project plans for 2021.
Learn more in this month's eNews

Connecting Ecosystems in the Okanagan Valley

The Okangan Collaborative Conservation Program has secured funding for developing a long-term Action Plan to protect wildlife corridors in the Central and North Okanagan. 

This year, OCCP will work with UBCO, Okanagan Nation Alliance, local and provincial government and an advisory committee to identify strategic opportunities to protect sections of the 68 km ecological corridor that connects Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park to Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.  The Action Plan will guide efforts and actions related to land use planning, stewardship, land securement, education and outreach, and research. 

The Okanagan basin is home to some of the highest concentrations of species at risk in BC and Canada and many of our natural areas are being fragmented by habitat loss from urban and agricultural development and resources extraction. Protecting ecosystem connectivity is critical for the long term survival of wildlife and ecosystems.  The corridors provide area for animals to move so they can find food, shelter and mates, and prevents populations from becoming isolated. Isolated populations over time have low genetic diversity and become less resilient and susceptible diseases and extinction.  Read more on the OCCP website

Protecting Okanagan Lake and its Watershed

The Okanagan Lake Responsibility Planning Initiative is designed to bring Syilx and non-Syilx partners together to address the cumulative impacts threatening the long-term viability of Okanagan Lake and its ecosystems to provide clean drinking water, habitat for fish and wildlife, erosion and flood control, and climate change mitigation. 

Over the last several months the coordinating team of Okanagan Nation Alliance, OCCP and the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program has been working with representatives from Syilx communities, local and provincial governments, and tourism and environmental organizations to increase an understanding of Syilx Water Values.  Through a series of workshops this group has begun to identify ways in which Syilx values can enhance watershed planning processes and management practices for greater environmental and cultural protection. In 2021, the coordinating team will be conducting a community engagement process utilizing the recommendations from the 2020 Syilx water workshops to seek further input on the major issues and solutions for Okanagan Lake and its watershed.  This work will guide the development of an Okanagan Lake Responsibility Strategy. 

Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change

Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change utilize the power of nature to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and mitigate the impacts of climate change. In 2021, OCCP in collaboration with our partners, will begin to explore ways to implement Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) to protect us from the impacts of climate change while helping to slow further warming, support biodiversity protection and habitat connectivity and increase carbon sequestration in the Okanagan Valley. 

Upcoming Funding Deadlines
A friendly reminder to our partner organizations about upcoming grant application deadlines.
1. TD Friends of the Environment Foundation - January 15 
2. Brink/McLean Grasslands Conservation Fund - February 12 
3. OBWB Water Conservation and Quality Improvement Grant -February
4. Real Estate Foundation of BC - Early March
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Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program · 1450 KLO Rd. · Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4 · Canada